What do Filipinos listen to online?
MANILA, Philippines – Over a decade after they disbanded, the Eraserheads are still making their presence felt. The Pinoy Fab Four – arguably the most influential local rock band of this or any other generation – is the most played OPM artist on music streaming service Spotify.
The news was relayed by Sunita Kaur, Spotify’s managing director for Asia, 4 months after the app launched in the Philippines. (WATCH: Music video for new Eraserheads song 'Sabado')
“After the Eraserheads, it’s Sarah Geronimo, then MYMP, UpDharmaDown, and Rivermaya,” Kaur said. At numbers 6 to 10 are Regine Velasquez, Toni Gonzaga, Gary Valenciano, Juris (ex-vocalist of MYMP), and Lani Misalucha.
Filipinos also prove once again how we love sentimentality, as the most streamed international artist is Boyce Avenue, a group best known for their stripped down, acoustic covers of songs by other pop and rock artists.
“It’s wonderful because [Filipinos are] so true to who you are and what you love,” Kaur said. “You like love songs. It’s wonderfully cheesy. And that makes us smile. You think about people’s differences, but still, fundamentally, we are the same throughout the world because we all love music.”
Interestingly, the number one most streamed song in the Philippines is “Summer” by Calvin Harris. Number two is “Not A Bad Thing” by Justin Timberlake, followed by “All Of Me” by John Legend, “Problem” by Ariana Grande, “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea, “A Sky Full Of Stars” by Coldplay, “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors, “Talk Dirty” by Jason Derulo (feat 2Chainz), “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit (feat Jess Glynne), and “Magic” by Coldplay.
Meanwhile, the most streamed OPM track is Sarah Geronimo’s “Maybe This Time,” UpDharmaDown’s “Tadhana” is number two, followed by “Diwata” by Abra, “Starting Over Again” by Lani Misalucha, “Ikot-Ikot” by Sarah Geronimo, “Pare Ko” and “Ang Huling El Bimbo” by the Eraserheads, “Indak” by UpDharmaDown, “Dahan Dahan” by Maja Salvador, and “Ligaya” by the Eraserheads.
Spotify is the world’s largest paid music streaming service, with 20 million users and 10 million subscribers as of mid-2014. The app was officially launched in the Philippines in April, and while Kaur said they don’t have the exact number of downloads and users, she descibes the growth as “phenomenal.”
“We are growing in the Philippines at such a rate that whatever number I give you now will be obsolete tomorrow,” she said. “We are adding thousands of new people every week. One thing that we are looking to do is to wait for the numbers to settle a bit. Traditionally we start looking at a market 12 to 18 months after the market has launched.”
One figure that Kaur did reveal is one million, which is the number of playlists generated by Filipino users since the launch in April. “It has taken other countries years to get to that number, and it only took 4 months here in the Philippines. We just feel so loved here.”
Spotify has also revealed a study that further illustrates Filipinos’ enduring obsession with their mobile phones. While only 46% of the total users across Asia access the app through their phones, the number jumps to 78% here in the Philippines. “We definitely love our mobile phones here,” Kaur said with a grin.
While Spotify has entered into a partnership with local telecoms company Globe (subscribers can get Spotify bundled with Globe’s GoSurf plan), the company said they are not really concerned by rival music streaming services. In the Philippines, Smart has their own service called Spinnr and recently launched their own partnership with Paris-based Deezer.
“This is something that we are seeing all over the world,” Kaur said. “Apple bought Beats, Google bought Songza. For what we’re doing as an industry, the more people getting involved in the music streaming service, the more people are educated about what music streaming is about. And that in turn will help to battle piracy, which is what we are all trying to do. We are far more distracted by piracy than we are by each other.”
Piracy is still a serious issue in the local music industry, with available data showing that as much as 95% of music here is lost to piracy. It’s too early to say if Spotify has made a dent in decreasing that number, but Kaur says that with the service’s entry in the Philippines, there has been some strides towards that goal.
“We use Sweden as an inspiration. It was also very rife with piracy; it’s the home of Piratebay. In the 6 years we’ve been there, piracy has been reduced 25%. That’s what we want to do here in the Philippines.” –Rappler.com